Kelly VanZant 2020.jpg


As far back as I can remember, school was really hard for me. I enjoy people, and I’m known as a “social butterfly”, but the academic-side of learning was difficult. It seemed no matter how many hours I’d spend studying or how many tutors I would have, I just couldn’t do well in my classes. After some testing, it was discovered I had severe dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia and ADD. This helped explain why reading, writing, math and so forth were so hard for me. Basically, all of   this means that I learn different and technically, it’s called a learning disability. It took me a very long time to figure out how to train my brain to see letters in a way that enabled me to put together a sentence and then a paragraph and so on. If you have dyslexia you know it can be really difficult to accomplish a reading assignment because letters sporadically and constantly flash and interlock with each other.

Understanding my dyslexia is important because it takes me back to how I became interested in photography. When I was younger, and trying to read books in class, it was the pictures that helped me feel connected. I remember feeling like the pictures saved me, as they often encouraged me to not give up and allowed me to be an active part of the book review discussions. This appreciation for pictures lead to my interest in drawing art and eventually photography. In my photographs I capture and use images as a universal language to connect with people, and break through any written communication barriers.

I believe the pictures I take also help me understand the world because they allow me to capture and communicate my unique perspective. I enjoy sharing my images and learning from different experiences, and I want to continue to share the unique way I see our world with others. I was extremely happy when I shared my photography with a local art college and was accepted to their fine arts photography program. My plan is to complete my bachelors, learn techniques and how to improve my skills while strengthen my abilities and contributing and offering my art and service to my community.


Because of my disabilities, I recognize I see the world a little differnt than most. I used to only see this as a curse; however, I’ve discovered my disability is a strength as it allows me to capture and share unique images from an uncommon perspective. With each opportunity I work to improve as I just might be able to connect with others through my pictures, allowing them to see a perspective they didn’t see before and hopefully creating a new bridge of communication. It’s my goal to invite people into a unique perspective, encourage those who maybe feel like they communicate different than others and learn while having fun and crafting my art.